Man's desire to fly usually goes hand in hand with a certain prudence regarding it. From a very early age we learn that jumping from a chair is not doing it through a window. Very few like to feel pain beyond a limit. And the risk of a bad fall that can kill you is something that you don't need to insist on much in your vital learning. To most, at least.
Throughout this week we have dedicated space to analyze and examine summer sports, some of which are not comparable and not always orthodox. Today we will do it from a sport outside the regulations and common sense. If there is any body that tries to regulate it, it is to prevent it from being practiced.
It would be a wild and stupid sport popularly known as balconying, a contraction of Jump from the balcony. That the name is an anglicism, at least in this case, is not trivial since the players tend to be mostly English, although the fun of the game also seems to have permeated the always restless and educated German youth. Joys of the civilized world. These would be young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who arrive in a group on vacation to hotels on the coast, with a predilection for the Balearic Islands. They go out and drink a lot, take all the drugs they can and, at a certain moment, they find it fun to practice this sport, balconying, in one of these two modalities: either between balconies of the same hotel, that is, going from one room to another through a leap into the void from one balcony to another; or jump from a balcony into the hotel's own pool. The risk is serious mobility injuries if not death. If it goes well, the participant in the stupidity feels like the hero or the funniest boy or girl in the group. The prize is not much but, apparently, it compensates because otherwise, it is not understood.
Despite the recommendations, prohibitions and measures of all kinds of tourist entities and authorities, the supposed absence of fear or prudence of youth can do anything. Recently, a photo appeared of three young people jumping from one balcony to another at a great height and one of them sticking out a finger at who was being photographed and recriminating the action. Based on that, if in the next heroics of the guy, he miscalculates and kills himself, our degree of empathy is logically reduced to a minimum. Perhaps it says little about those of us who feel this way, but what can we do? When an influencer kills himself for wanting to take a photo on a rock or on a railing where he has been told that it is dangerous to do so, he will not say that he is happy. Absolutely. But wanting to tell him that he is an idiot to deafen him, yes they stay with one.
The practice of balconying is usually individual in the jump but always with the public. If there is no public and the player knows it and, despite that, he jumps, it is called suicide and it is not a summer sport or of any kind. The balcony must have a fan audience because if not, idiocy makes no sense. The height does not matter and it is not necessary for the dummy player to jump from a balcony, but it can be worth a high enough place (the precedent for balconying could be to jump from the top of a public fountain and become a quadriplegic, for example). It is not necessary to be drugged, drunk or both at the same time, but surely being so helps the players and us to jump, to try to find some reason to temper our opinion of the players and the public that cheers them on.
As in everything, there are famous precedents, and especially in the world of music, although not all of them are sports, far from it. I will start with the case of Chet Baker (1929-1988), a legendary jazz musician who was found in a fetal position on the sidewalk near the Prins Hendrik hotel in Amsterdam. Apparently he had fallen or thrown from a window of said hotel. The legend says that he had left without paying the hotel bill and, for this, he left without his things. Outside of him, he realized that he had left the trumpet inside. And Baker, ex-addict and ever-disaster, came up with the brilliant idea of climbing over the wall to his open window and retrieving the trumpet. Who knows. If he fell from the window or in his attempt to be the Cool Jazz Spiderman we would be talking about an accident and not a balcony. If he released himself voluntarily, suicide.
A second preceding modality that would also enter more into extreme self-harm or attempted suicide than balcony would be the case of Townes Van Zandt (1944-1997). The great Texan musician of what was later called Americana, had an adolescence, let's call it unruly, and while at a party with his pre-university friends, which was held on a fourth floor, he decided to jump from the balcony with the curious objective of feeling " loss of control and the impact of the fall. He did not die but he was torn to pieces and his parents found the ideal excuse to put him in a mental hospital for three months where his childhood memories were fried by electroshocks.
The third modality would enter fully into the balcony modality, not only because there are all the precise ingredients: hotel, swimming pool, crazy guy jumping from a balcony at an important height. It would be the patron saint of this sport that, surprisingly, is not English but Argentine: Charly García (1951). The event occurred at the Aconcagua Hotel in Mendoza on March 3, 2000. It was no coincidence for the interests of the brilliant, quarrelsome, polydrug addict, excessive, witty, and rebellious musician that this hotel was packed with journalists covering a political event. Charly García jumped from the ninth floor of that hotel, about 20 meters. Before that jump, a policeman went to stop him. Before he identified himself: "I am a policeman", to which Charly García replied: "And who tells you not to study?" It was obvious that he should jump and he did. He hurt her. A lot. But he was unharmed and was filmed from start to finish. A balcony with a happy ending that does not invalidate what was previously said regarding the risk that is run. In short, be responsible and play spades, be offended, fall in love or jump from a low balcony into a deep pool, but enjoy life as if you were any Charly García.